Email marketing seems so old school. Today, it’s often overlooked as eCommerce Marketing pros are pressured by top brass to look forward towards the next big customer acquisition tool. Should we be building Pinterest boards or posting daily video snippets on YouTube? What’s this Quora thing and should we be active there? The list of potential new ways to engage customers can become endless. Improving email marketing too easily gets brushed aside.
Simms Jenkins, in his book The New Inbox, notes that, “Email marketing is the digital hub in a social and moblie world.” He couldn’t be more spot on. Have you ever tried to start a Facebook or Twitter social media account without an email address? Most apps require using social logins with start with an email too!
With all this movement forward into new digital marketing channels, organizations should stop for a moment to consider the vital role email plays. With every eCommerce transaction, asking the customer to provide an email address is required. From that requirement flows a string of email communications: order confirmations, shipping confirmations, invitations to provide feedback on the online shopping experience, reminders to complete a product review, and prompts to follow the brand using social media. The list of potential email marketing activities doesn’t stop.
Weeks and months after the purchase, trigger campaigns follow with “since you purchased A, you might also like to purchase B” offers. There are reminders that you may need to re-purchase that same item again. Incentives are shared to join loyalty programs. Brand messages are being reinforced every step of the way through these emails.
It is the written word that powers these essential email marketing messages that support eCommerce. Too often, the words themselves are not reviewed to ensure they function as well as intended. Email marketers should periodically run through a checklist:
1. What is the call to action that is being focused upon within each email communication?
2. Does the messaging support the brand?
3. Does the wording ramble? Customers spend a few seconds per email. Brevity is key.
4. Is the message memorable? Should it be?
5. Did the message provide value from a customer’s perspective?
6. Do all the hyperlinks still work?
7. Are you properly using ALT text on images as a call to action?
8. Have the Subject lines been A/B tested for open rate improvements?
9. Are the font sizes being used for words big enough to be read on a mobile device?
If conducting a review of your email marketing practices is far down the list of future to-dos, bring on board a writing workforce to review and improve your content. With a few updates, you can quite easily demonstrate that the old email dog can still bite! ~Keith